posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 04:27 PM
Originally posted by freebornman
Hi people, I have a thread brewing which kind of 'touches' on race, whilst not actually being 'about' race. My question is this, are terms such as
'black people' or 'the black man' in any way offensive to or even frowned upon, either by the staff or people of african-american descent?
I have gone through several pages in this section, and apart from warnings against 'racist' language, I couldn't find anything relevant. I
don't want to cause anyone any offence, and I don't want to spoil my thread, so I would welcome discussion and guidance.
If you are simply using that as a description of a person, then no one should be offended. There are (contrary to what some think) reasons to need a
description of people, and skin color can be part of that. If you had a post about various cultures, for example, you would probably have to mention
some that tend to be more associated with certain races. Simply discussing differences, though, or looking for information, isn't a racist thing.
People do have cultural differences, and those are sometimes based on race. I have noted, for example, that among young women, there are different
clothing styles and colors preferred in many cases, by women of various races. Certain styles are favored by those of color A, while other styles are
favored by those of color B, and even more different styles by those of color C. Not a thing wrong with any of those; just preference, that seems to
be associated by race. I could see how a discussion of why each group prefers what they do could be interesting, and that would not indicate that any
one race was better, or worse, than the others.
I have heard people describe themselves as "black" far more often that "African-American". I call myself "white", though my skin isn't really
actual white. I had a friend that called himself "Indian". One elderly relative of mine uses the word "colored", because that is simply what
people said in her day. Nothing insulting at all, just a different term. It's the intent of your message that counts, not the specific adjectives
used. Sensible participants in a thread won't take offense, and those looking to cause trouble would no matter what language you used. The mod are
pretty good on seeing the reality, though, and not simply removing posts because some overly-sensitive member complains. Since you aren't talking
about using known derogatory terms, I would not anticipate any issues.